Coming soon: Security robots that patrol streets – or guard your home

Tim Johnson for McClatchy DC:  The security guard of the future is an all-seeing robot, endowed with laser scanning, thermal imaging, 360-degree video and sensors for all kinds of signals.

Only, the future is now. Dozens of the self-propelled, wheeled robots are already on patrol in places like the Golden 1 Center arena in Sacramento, a residential development near Tampa, and at venues in Boston, Atlanta and Dallas.

They are cheaper than human beings, require no health insurance, never clamor for a raise and work 24 hours a day. They also sometimes do daffy things, like fall into fountains.

A Mountain View, California, start-up, Knightscope, contracts out four types of indoor and outdoor robotic sentinels. So far, it has put 47 in service in 10 states.

“We’re about to see a rising of this type of technology,” said Stacy Dean Stephens, a cofounder of Knightscope, as he stood beside a white model dubbed K5. “It’s very reasonable to believe that by the end of next year, we’d have a couple of hundred of these out.”

The Knightscope robots are both friendly, with calming blue lights, and imposing in size.

“They get attention,” Stephens said. “There’s a reason they’re five-and-a-half feet tall. There’s a reason they are three feet wide, weigh over 400 pounds, because you want it to be very conspicuous.”  Full Article:

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